West Midlands Police has released video footage of a man “showing off” by firing a handgun at a party in Birmingham.
The reckless discharge was filmed on a mobile phone seized from Yusupha Sarr who hours later fired a sawn-off shotgun in a Smethwick street at a rival gang member.
Sarr, from Church Green in Handsworth, was today (12 April) jailed for 15 years for possessing a banned firearm with intent to endanger life while associate Christ Lidiu – caught on CCTV dumping a bag of shotgun cartridges – was jailed for three years for perverting the course of justice.
Armed officers in unmarked vehicles had been positioned near Pine Avenue, Smethwick, in the early hours of 24 August last year in response to intelligence suggesting men linked to gangs were attending an 18th birthday party.
Just before 1am the units moved in after hearing gunfire and an hour later intercepted a taxi in Aston Lane where 19-year-old Sarr and 18-year-old Lidiu were detained.
A sawn-off shotgun was recovered nearby and CCTV from Aston Lane showed Lidiu, from Bridglands Way in Perry Barr, discarding a bag that was later found to contain 49 shotgun cartridges matching those loaded in the weapon.
Forensics experts identified Sarr’s fingerprints and DNA on the bag, while tests showed both men had high levels of gunshot residue on their hair and clothing.
And an extensive CCTV trawl uncovered more footage of a man matching Sarr’s description discharging a shotgun in Woodland Drive, near Pine Avenue, at the time.
Both men – who appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court for sentencing having admitted the offences – are linked to a Birmingham street gang known as ‘23 Drillas’.
Detective Constable Nick Taylor from West Midlands Police Force CID, said: “Both Sarr and Lidiu are young men, still in their teens, but are now paying a heavy price for getting drawn into gangs. They can expect to spend much of their lives locked away from society unless they change their ways.
“Sarr showed a blatant disregard for the law in discharging an illegal firearm in a residential street. We don’t believe anyone was injured – but clearly this kind of reckless behavior can have catastrophic consequences and innocent members of the public could have been hurt.
“While analysing Sarr’s mobile phone we came across a short video clip of a man firing a handgun… we believe the individual was showing off rather than firing at anyone. It’s suspected the clip was filmed at a property in Birmingham on the evening before Sarr was arrested.
“Enquries are on-going to trace the man involved and I would urge anyone who believes they recognize him – or has any information about the video or the location it was filmed – to get in touch with us.
“The information can be passed to us in confidence – we don’t need to know the names of anyone providing information – we just want to get what appears to be a dangerous individual off the streets.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the Birmingham Gangs & Organised Crime Unit at West Midlands Police on the 101 number – or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.